BY: SUN STAFF
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur at Sridhama Mayapur
Dec 01, 2010 CANADA (SUN) The hidden glories of Sridham Mayapur.
The Prediction of Thakura Vrndavana Dasa
From 'The Full Moon of the Advent of Lord Gauranga'
The Harmonist, Vol. 15, March 31, 1935
"Thakura Vrndavana Dasa is the writer of 'Sri Caitanya-Bhagavata' in which book he has predicted that sages, who transcend the plane of three dimensions, will on a future date make Navadvipa-dhama or Svetadvipa-dhama known to the world. Only those persons whose inner eyes have been opened by the grace of Godhead can see this Holy Dhama and none else. Of these venerable sages of the prediction of Thakura Vrndavana Dasa, the first to appear was Srila Jagannatha Dasa Babaji held in esteem to all over Gauda Mandala, Ksetra Mandala, and Vraja Mandala, and the second is Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura who as the archetype of Bhagiratha brought down to the earth the Ganges of pure devotion.
The years 400, 404, 408 and 448 of the Gaura Era have definite connection with the respective services rendered by those great seers for bringing about the re-appearance of Sridhama.
400 Gaura Era: In this year Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura received a Divine Injunction to the effect that Sri Visva Vaisnava Raja-Sabha should be re-established and the advental tithi of the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna Caitanya should be properly observed. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, thereupon, published the 'Navadvipa-Panjika' and revived the Gaura Era, this very year.
404 Gaura Era: This year Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura visited all the places of Navadvipa-dhama, collected full esoteric evidence, and published a book entitled, ''Sri-Sri Navadvipa-dhama-mahatmya." He published three things in this book, viz. (i) the dicta laid down by the 'Sastras', (ii) the statements of the 'Mahabhagavatas', and (iii) the direct Injunctions of the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna Caitanya.
408 Gaura Era: The ritualistic worship of the divine symbolic Form of the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna Caitanya in Sridhama Mayapura was started this year.
444 Gaura Era: This year a Theistic Exhibition was opened at Sridhama Mayapura to educate all benighted souls about the transcendental teachings of the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna Caitanya in pursuance of Sri Sri Nityananda Mahaprabhu's Mission for the establishment of the Universal Religion of transcendental love. A relief map showing all the regions up to Vaikuntha-dhama was prepared and exhibited.
448 Gaura Era: This is the present new year. A magnificent Temple has been built this year at 'Yogapitha' at Sridhama Mayapura. And on the very site of the Advent of the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna Caitanya, the Divine Form of Adhoksaja-Visnu came up to the surface while the ground was being dug for laying the foundation of the Temple. The opening ceremony of the new temple has been performed and the ceremonial worship of the arca-vigrahas has begun."
The Topography of Sridhama Mayapura
From The Harmonist, Vol. 29 Sept. 1931
Map of Sridhama Navadvipa
"We have dealt with the question of the identification of the geographical site of the birth of Sri Caitanya from the antiquarian's point of view, in a previous number of this journal. In another article we tried to explain why the circumambulation of the Holy Site possesses an abiding spiritual value for all persons.
The identification of many of the sites has been rendered comparatively easy by the survival of the old place names. This is as was to be expected in the case of a place which is only four centuries old. In the Bhakti-ratnakara we find the corroboration, from on old source of the truth of the relative positions of these locally recognizable sites. As we pointed out in the previous article the actual Site of Birth of the Lord is definitely remembered by the inhabitants to the present day. The memory of the Holy Site has been further preserved by the growth of many an interesting legend round the site. This also was noticed in the article referred to.
As soon as we are thus enabled to identify the Site of the 'House of God' to quote the language of Bhakti-ratnakara, we can follow and identify the details of the route of circumambulation given in that work of Sridhama Navadvipa by Srinivasa Acarya in the company of Isana Thakura who was in charge of the household of the Lord shortly after His disappearance. The places visited were Atopura adjoining Mayapura which, said Thakura Isana, formerly bore the name of Antardvipa. The place bearing locally the designation of Atopura did not disappear in the bed of the Bhagirathi till quite recently. It adjoined the identified Site of Mayapura. On leaving the 'House of God' Isana Thakura pointed out to his companion the ancient site of Suvarnabihar which could be seen in the distance from the neighborhood of the 'House of God,' This agrees perfectly with the position the site as identified. It may be noted in this connection that the ancient 'mound of Suvarnabihar is a prominent object as seen from a place adjoining the 'House of God' and even the most casual observer was not likely to miss the sight. The almost dramatic suddenness with which the historic mound burst on the view of the observer as he left the 'House of God' could not fail to excite curiosity in those days when the magnificent old ruins were still intact. The Kholobhanga- danga i.e. the mound where the khol of the first chanters of kirtana was broken is easily identifiable from the narrative, of the Caitanya-bhagavata with the yard of Srinivasa.
The traditional site of Kholbhanga-danga is identifiable quite close to the site of Birth. This relative position is corroborated by numerous references, in various connections in Sri Caitanya-bhagavata.
From Kholbhanga-danga, the distance of the home of Sridhara could not have been very far. When Sridhara was sent for from the house of Srivasa Pandita the devotees who went to bring him heard his loud voice reciting the Name of Hari when they had proceeded only half the way. Sridhara was accustomed to chant the Name of Hari with a very loud voice. The voice of Sridhara was heard long before the boundary of the village (Mayapura) was reached. We are told elsewhere, in the description of the route of the first processional kirtana along the street of the town, that the house of Sridhara was visited on the route between the house of the Kazi and Gadi-gachha. The position of Gadi-gachha is given in the Settlement maps as adjoining Mayapura. The village has since shifted its position on account of the change in the riverbed and one part of it now bears the name of Mahesganj. The house of the Kazi is still in Baman-pukura.
The Kayastha-koustubha quotes from the Urddhamnaya-tantra a passage regarding the Appearance of Mahaprabhu son of Saci at Mayapur (p.98). The book was published eighty-six years ago by Raja Rajendra Nath Mitra of Andul. The same work also quoted from Ananta-samhita that the Supreme Lord will be born from the womb of Saci at Navadvipa (p. 124, 130). On page 123 the writer takes the trouble to explain that Mayapura was another name of Navadvipa where Laksmana Sena had built his capital. The tradition recorded by Hunter in his Statistical Account (1880) is that "It (Nadia) was on the East of the Bhagirathi and on the West of the Jalangi" (p. 142). The changes in the course of the Bhagirathi may be studied in the History of Nadia Rivers, the Map of Suba Bangla, Renell's Map and Blochmann's Map. They throw some light on the obscure point how the name Navadvipa was gradually shifted by the pressure of the changing river to the present town of Navadvipa on the West side of the Bhagirathi.
Now, the hearts desire of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura is being exhaustively fulfilled by Gaura-sakti Om Visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, and this is obvious to all that can see. Everyone can observe with their own eyes what kind of splendorous progress is increasing day by day in the service of Sridhama Mayapura.
vede prakasir pache
"Later, the Vedas will reveal that Navadvipa-dhama is non-different from Svetadvipa."
(Caitanya-bhagavata, Madhya-khanda, chapter 23, Verse 290)
(NB. In his Anubhasya commentary to this verse, Prabhupada Sarasvati Thakura writes: "The word veda means 'four.' "Realization that Sri Navadvipa-dhama is Svetadvipa has dawned on the living entities about 400 years, or 404 years, or 444 years after the appearance of the Supreme Lord.")
These words of the Vyasa of Sri Caitanya-lila are now being gloriously fulfilled today. Exactly four centuries after the appearance of Lord Gaura, the gospel of Sridhama Mayapura Navadvipa revealed itself in the heart of the eternal associate of Sri Gauranga, Om Visnupada Bhaktivinoda Thakura. At that time, the Visva Vaisnava Rajya Sabha was re-founded and the necessity to observe the appearance day of the full-moon of Sri Mayapura Navadvipa was practically preached in the world. Nowadays, this appearance day festival of Sri Gaurasundara has become a national celebration in Bengal. The one who introduced this was Bhaktivinoda Thakura.
In 404 Gaurabda, after searching through all the places in Navadvipa and through all the evidence available, and following the will of the mahajanas and the conclusions of the scriptures, Bhaktivinoda Thakura revealed Sri Navadvipa-dhama Mahatmya. In 408 Gaurabda, the Deity of Sriman Mahaprabhu was revealed in Yogapitha in Sridhama Mayapura by the greatest realized Vaisnavas as well as by many leading personalities of Bengal and Bharata-varsa. At that time, thousands of holy devotees from Vraja-ksetra and gauda-mandala, and thousands and thousands of pilgrims from many different regions were present in the holy dhama.
When Sriman Jiva Gosvami Prabhu was performing Navadvipa parikrama, Nityananda Prabhu told him about Sri Mayapura:
cari-sata-varsa gaura-jana dhari
haile sri murti seva habe sarvopari
"400 years after Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's appearance, the worship of His Deity will manifest and He will be worshipped in a magnificent manner."
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